Tuesday, July 10, 2007


When I was a sophomore in high school, my neighbor would drive me to school every morning in her blue VW bug. She was a huge "Meatloaf" fan and we listened to that damn wolf song until my ears would bleed ("Would you offer you throat to the wolf with the red roses...what? What the crap is that?). She also had no heat, but she smoked cigarettes, so we would have to drive with the windows down in the middle of winter. St. Louis winter. Pre-global warming.

My neighbor, who we will call Freckles, was a very interesting sort of person. I hung out with her more or less because she had a car, and also had access to her Dad's car, which was a 1963 covertible, and it rocked. We'd known each other since we were kids, and she used to freak me out by collecting those weird dolls with the big eyes. (and even Google can't help me find the name of those things--but they have brought back the terror that Ballerina doll gave me as a child...dear Lord the torment my brother gave me about that doll.)

I digress.

One day while on the way to school, we get to discussing what was, at the time, the most popular drug at our high school. Of course I'm talking about the weed. Maryjane. In later years this would eventually become my nickname, as my Spanish teacher dubbed me "Juana" for the remainder of my days. I've been called worse.
Upon discussing said drug, I revealed to her that I had never tried it. Smoking was a big no-no in my household, as my dad had smoked since high school and I certainly did not want to be a hypocrite when I was yelling at him that he was making my brand new jean jacket smell bad.

Well, leave it to Freckles, she said she would get me high after school. Woo hoo!

She picked me up after my last class, and we headed down to The Structure. The Structure was basically a wooden playground at the nearby grade school. But The Structure had such a better ring to it, yes?

Freckles took out this self-rolled, very thick (red flag hello), future destroying marijuana joint. She kept saying, "Are you sure you want to do this?" like I was about to partake in some tribal initiation that may or may not require loss of a limb.
Freckles lit it up, and let me take the first hit. I grabbed it, and notice that it does not smell the way I thought it would (second flag here)

I took a huge puff in, and it HURT all the way down into my lungs.
"WHAT THE HELL!" I said. I had heard that it was harsh but jeebus that burned!!!
Freckles, in all her infinite wisdom, assured me this was the norm, and that I'd get used to it.
I took another tackle at it, and had the same results.
"HOLY CRAP! Forget it, this is not worth it."
I was done.
So, Freckles proceed to 'toke it up' and takes a few hits and agrees, it is harsher than usual.
I am still trying to recover, and it hits me. I have several friends who were pros at this, and something was definitely rotten in Denmark. Or in this case, Amsterdam.
"Give me that for a second, Freckles."
She handed it over and I held it to my nose this time, smelling it. I knew the smell immediately.
"Freckles!!! This was rolled with CHEWING TOBACCO."
Some funny guy was selling chewing tobacco rolled up in cigarettes to unsuspecting, be-freckled individuals. Great.
What was even funnier, afterwards we went to a friend's house, and Freckles pretended to be HIGH!!

Upon returning home, my mom asked me if I'd just brushed my teeth. "You smell minty."

Yes, yes, I know.

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